Kincannon attends national Judicial College

On Sept. 23, Judge Ronald Kincannon, Associate District Judge for Cimarron County, completed class work at the National Judicial College located on the University of Nevada's campus in Reno. The class, entitled Co-Occurring Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders , introduced attending judges to new and evolving specialty courts being created nationwide. These courts represent a national effort to more effectively deal with people having both drug addiction and mental illness issues when they appear in court.

Courts following this training model are capable of ending much of the recidivism experienced by the traditional processing of drug and mental illness cases. This model represents a new team approach known as Therapeutic Justice. The team consists of the judge, public defenders, probation officers, DHS personnel, mental health care professionals, medical staffing, and others.

“Although specialty courts are growing in popularity,” Judge Kincannon noted, “Therapeutic Justice brings with it a large budgetary demand as well as a requirement for additional staffing resources that are presently unavailable in many rural Oklahoma counties.” The judge concluded by saying, “The course was certainly thought-provoking and encouraged me to rethink treatment programs locally available to citizens in the Panhandle.”

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